Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reiterated the NDA government’s commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additional villages in 115 Aspirational Districts by 15th August this year.
He was delivering closing remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi.
Elaborating on the Union government’s guiding principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the Prime Minister said, the schemes are no longer limited to certain people, or to certain regions, and are reaching everyone without discrimination.
Mr Modi said, all villages of the country are now electrified, and under Saubhagya Yojana, four crore houses are now being provided with electricity connections. He said, rural sanitation coverage has increased from less than 40 percent to about 85 percent in four years.
Similarly, he said, the Ujjwala Yojana is providing access to cooking gas, and Mission Indradhanush is working towards universal immunization. Mr Modi said, his Government is working towards providing housing for all by 2022.
He called upon all Chief Ministers to contribute their efforts towards this objective of 100 percent implementation of schemes for the welfare of the poor.
The Prime Minister said, states can define their own parameters to identify 20 percent of the total blocks in the state as aspirational blocks on the lines of the 115 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog.
Welcoming the constructive discussion and suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister assured the gathering that these suggestions would be seriously considered in the course of decision-making. He asked NITI Aayog to follow up with the states on the actionable points made by them within three months.
Speaking on the issue of environment, Mr Modi urged all states to use LED bulbs in their government buildings, official residences and streetlights. He suggested that this could be implemented within a definite time frame.
He called upon Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, to work together to make recommendations on a coordinated policy approach to the two subjects of agriculture and MNREGA, including both pre-sowing, and post-harvest phases.
The Prime Minister said, it is vital to identify the last people in the line so that benefits of governance can reach them. Similarly, he said, social justice is an important governance objective.
Mr Modi said that Swachh Bharat Mission is being discussed around the world. In the last four years, 7.70 crore toilets have been constructed. He called upon all present, to work towards 100 percent sanitation coverage by October 2nd next year, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Prime Minister called for efforts towards water conservation and water management on a war footing. Speaking on the economy, the Prime Minister said that the world expects India to become a five trillion dollar economy soon. He encouraged states to give fresh ideas to the Finance Commission, for incentivizing outcome-based allocations, and expenditure correction.